894 Child Soldiers Released From Civilian JTF In Maiduguri – UNICEF

Over 3,500 Children Recruited By Insurgents, Says UN

 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has said that 894 children have been released from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri.

The children, including 106 girls were released on Friday as part of commitments to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in the fight against insurgents.

According to a statement from UNICEF, the release would be followed up with reintegration programmes to help them return to civilian life.

“Any commitment for children that is matched with action is a step in the right direction for the protection of children’s rights and must be recognised and encouraged,” said Mohamed Fall, Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria and the Co-chair of United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations (CTFMR).

“Children of north-east Nigeria have borne the brunt of this conflict. They have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles and witnessed death, killing and violence. This participation in the conflict has had serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being.”

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The organisation further stated that since September 2017, when the CJTF signed an action plan committing to putting measures in place to end and prevent recruitment and use of children, 1,727 children and young people have been released. Since then, there has been no new recruitment of children by the CJTF.

It also noted that the children and young people released today will benefit from reintegration programmes to help them return to civilian life, seize new opportunities for their own development, and contribute to bringing lasting peace in Nigeria, as productive citizens of their country.

According to the UNICEF, without this support, many of the children released from armed groups struggle to fit into civilian life, as most are not educated and have no vocational skills.

More than 3,500 children are said to have been recruited and used by non-state armed groups in the conflicts in northern Nigeria between 2013 and 2017.

According to UNICEF, others have been abducted, maimed, raped and killed.

“We cannot give up the fight for the children, as long as children are still affected by the fighting. We will continue until there is no child left in the ranks of all armed groups in Nigeria,” Fall said.

The organization says it would continue to work closely with state authorities and partners to support the implementation of reintegration programmes for all children released from armed groups, as well as others affected by the ongoing conflict.

The gender and age-appropriate community-based reintegration support interventions include an initial assessment of their well-being, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and opportunities to improve livelihoods.

At least 9,800 people formerly associated with armed groups, as well as vulnerable children in communities, have accessed such services between 2017 and 2018.

Air Force Rotates 390 Personnel For Operation Lafiya Dole

Air Force Rotates 390 Personnel For Operation Lafiya DoleThe Nigerian Air Force has deployed 390 of its personnel as part of its contribution to the Joint Task Force fighting the northeast counter terrorism war.

They are to relieve another set of 390 of their colleagues upon completion of a six months operation with the land army in the theatre of operations code named “Operation Lafiya Dole.

Air component commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo, explained that apart from the air operations conducted, the Air Force also supports the ground forces.

According to him, the troop rotation commenced on Friday with a total of 390 Nigeria Air Force personnel involved in the northeast counter terrorism operations.

“For those of you who are just coming you will be deployed to the 7 DIV Garrison where your further deployment will be fine.

There are different sectors under which we operate; administratively you are under us, operationally you will be under the army for the period of the next six months.

What is expected of you is high discipline that the Nigerian Air Force is known for. Maintain your rules of engagement and make sure you stay out of trouble.

If you have administrative issues or problems get across to us through the normal channels the group admin officer will attend to you.”

The outgoing JTF personnel have been in the theatre of operation since May 2016 and the commander said he was impressed by their conduct while on the frontline.

Ohwo expressed happiness that all 390 personnel were returning to their various units intact without any casualty recorded in the course of their operations.

The personnel were extracted from units under the five Tactical Commands of the Nigerian Air Force.

Troops Arrest Boko Haram Terrorists At Borno Cattle Market

Borno_Cattle_MarketTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole on Wednesday morning at the cattle market, Maiduguri, Borno State, with assistance of Civilian JTF, arrested 3 suspected members of terrorist group, Boko Haram.

The suspects include Abba Go Dallagio, Abba Fanned and Alhaji Nwariye”, a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said.

The statement added that “during preliminary investigation they claimed that they entered into Maiduguri through Mafa with about 200 cows for sale at Maiduguri cattle market.

The suspects, according to the statement, “stated that they are part of logistics elements of the terrorists group that assist in selling cows for the insurgents”.

They further added that proceeds are remitted to the terrorists to fund their nefarious activities.
So far, troops have identified and isolated 23 cows at the cattle market.

Similarly, one of their agent and spy at the market, Alhaji Ajid Umar, has also been arrested. A total of 170 cows were isolated in connection with him.
“All the suspects are undergoing preliminary investigation”, Col Usman said.

Earlier, the troops on patrol in Borno State engaged some suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group in a gun battle in Bulabulin, killing nine of them on Wednesday.

A statement by a spokesman for the army, Colonel Sani Usman, said the attack occurred on Wednesday morning.

“They engaged them in a fire fight that lasted for an hour.

“The troops killed nine Boko Haram terrorists and wounded several others,” the statement read.

Colonel Usman further stated that the troops captured two AK-47 Rifles, two Hand Grenades, one Improvised Explosive Device, five Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit and nine motorcycles.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills Self In Foiled Attack

Suicide bomber kills self in BornoA suspected female suicide bomber has died in a failed attack in Dikwa Local government Area of Borno State.

The suspect’s planned attack was thwarted on Sunday evening by troops at a check point located at Kara Cattle market axis, Dikwa, towards Antul and Mukdala.

A statement by a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman said she was challenged from afar by the vigilant duty sentry.

“She refused to stop claiming to be coming from Monguno to see her parents in Dikwa.

“Troops sensing that the direction of approach was suspicious and abnormal, fired a shot at her and the gallant sentry was proven right as she was carrying a Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device (PBIED) which exploded with a loud bang, killing her instantly and causing minor injury on two soldiers and a Civilian JTF assisting them,” the statement read.

The injured soldiers and the civilian have been treated and have continued with their duties, Colonel Usman said.

Remnants Of Boko Haram Terrorists

The incident showed that there are a few remnants of Boko Haram terrorists determined to carry out attacks to create panic and insecurity in some areas in the northeast that have seen relative peace in the last few months.

Counter-insurgency efforts had heightened since early 2015, with the military sacking the terrorists from communities they had seized in the heat of the over six years insurgency.

In the statement, the army further highlighted that there was a reliable information that remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists now disguise or pretend to be mad men or women in order to gain access to some locations especially in Maiduguri.

It warned all citizens to be very wary of any seemingly mentally unstable or mad men or women found wandering and report same.

“Therefore, it is imperative for all to be more security conscious and vigilant especially during the Eid festivities and public holidays,” the statement by the army further read.

It also urged Nigerians to report any suspicious persons or movement to the security agencies.

The failed suicide attack came days after the police and the Department of State Service asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to shift a governorship election scheduled to hold in Edo State on September 10, citing security threats.

They had warned that insurgents were planning attacks at different locations during the celebration of the Eid.

FG Dismisses Reported Appointment Of New Boko Haram Leader

Boko HaramThe Nigerian government has described as cheap propaganda the report that ISIS has appointed a new leader for Boko Haram.

The Nigerian Government says it is too late to employ such tactics to revive the defeated terrorist organization.

”By the way, don’t believe the cheap propaganda by the global terrorist group ISIS, which has reportedly named a new leader for Boko Haram.

“Our gallant military has put Boko Haram on the run and nothing will bring back the terrorists, not even the wishful thinking by ISIS,” the Minister of Information and Culture said.

Mr Lai Mohammed said this in his remarks on Thursday at the ongoing All Nigerian Conference of Editors (ANEC) 2016 in Port Harcourt.

According to reports, ISIS, to which Boko Haram has pledged allegiance, has named one Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the new leader of Boko Haram in West Africa.

The Nigerian military had earlier dismissed the reported appointment.

In its reaction, the Defence Headquarters said that the change was irrelevant and inconsequential to the military’s operation in the north-east.

The Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, said that the military remained focused on its operation in the north-east, as the announcement was only aimed at seeking attention and relevance.

Army Dismisses Change In Boko Haram Leadership

Boko Haram, Nigerian Army, Coup PlanThe Nigerian military has dismissed the reported change in the leadership of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

In its reaction, the Defence Headquarters said that the change is irrelevant and inconsequential to the military’s operation in the north-east.

The Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, said that the military remains focused on its operation in the north-east, as the announcement is only aimed at seeking attention and relevance.

He said that for now, the troops are focused on clearing the remnants of the insurgents scattered around the northeast.

The Islamic State militant group on Wednesday announced one Abu Musab Al-Barnawi as the new leader of the terror group in West Africa.

 

 

Islamic State Names New Leader For Boko Haram

Boko Haram, Islamic StateIslamic State has named a new leader for the militant group Boko Haram, which has been terrorizing the north-eastern part of Nigeria and neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

One Abu Musab al-Barnawi was named Islamic State’s governor for West Africa in a two-page interview in its weekly magazine, al-Naba, which was circulated late on Tuesday.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has made significant success in the effort to defeat Boko Haram, which had sworn allegiance to Isis in 2015.

Boko Haram controlled a swathe of land in north-east Nigeria at the end of 2014 but was pushed out by Nigerian troops, aided by soldiers from neighboring countries.

Since then, they have resorted to carrying out suicide bombings in northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries and targeting unarmed persons.

The terror group has tried to create a state adhering to strict sharia law in the northeast during a seven-year insurgency.

Boko Haram was known to have been led by a man called Abubakar Shekau, who appeared as the spokesperson for the group in numerous videos.

Shekau had reportedly released a video purportedly showing remorse over the insurgency in the northeast of Nigeria.

But the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in a statement said that the Nigerian Armed Forces would continue with its operations against insurgents in the north-east in spite of the purported Boko Haram video.

The latest publication by the Islamic State, however, did not mention Shekau, whose death has also been reported by the Nigerian Army at different times.

In the interview, al-Barnawi said Boko Haram was “still a force to be reckoned with” and that it had been receiving new recruits.

Troops Kill 5, Recover Arms And Ammunition From Boko Haram

peacekeeping, Nigerian ArmyTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole accompanied by Civilian JTF on Monday killed five suspected terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition after repelling an attack by Boko Haram.

The attack was repelled in Yauri Community, at the outskirts of Maiduguri in Borno State.

This is according to a statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.

“In the encounter, the troops killed 5 of the attackers and recovered 2 AK-47 rifles, 1 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), one 60mm Mortar Tube, 1 Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle, 2 Dane Guns, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines, 2 FN rifle magazines, 131 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, 31 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, a 60mm Bomb, 10 Bicycles and the sum of 31,275 naira from the terrorists.

“We are glad to inform the public that the general area is calm, while troops have deployed to maintain security in the village and environs”, Col. Usman stated.

Gongon Ambush: Army Says Commanding Officer, 17 Others Missing

Army, Soldiers The Nigerian Army says three officers and 15 soldiers are missing in action following the showdown with Boko Haram insurgents in northern Borno State.

Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, disclosed this on Friday to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.

He said that a search party deployed to the area has already established contact with six soldiers and four members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).

Commanding Officer of the Operation is among those still missing in action, as well as unspecified number of members of the civilian JTF.

According to the Theatre Commander, the soldiers disappeared after engaging the bandits in what appears to be a reinforcement mission for their dislodged collaborators in a town called “Gongon”.

Boko Haram Ambush

The Army had earlier said that a number of its troops were missing after they ran into an ambush by the dreaded terrorists.

In a statement, the Army explained that the attack occurred while the troops were returning to their defensive locations after operations to clear remnants of the insurgents at Guro Gongon village and its environs.

It added that the operation led to the destruction of the terrorists’ makeshift camps and recovery of various weapons including an anti-aircraft gun, an armored personnel carrier, as well as motorcycles used by the militants.

Nigerian Navy Offers Free Medical Care In Maiduguri IDP Camp

medical services, Nigerian NavyThe Nigerian Navy, as part of their diamond jubilee celebrations are offering free medical services to displaced people in Maiduguri.

The free medical services named Medical Rhapsody, held in Dalori1, a selected Displaced People’s camp in the state capital.

Dalori1 is one of the 22 government-recognised displaced people’s camps within Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

One of the beneficiaries is a mother of four abducted girls, Falmata Mustapha, battling with diabetes without medication since she fled from insurgents in her hometown, Bama.

The medical outreach was a lifesaver for her as money and drugs or the correct diet to control her condition have been out of her reach.

The Navy offered free drugs for the treatment of malaria, blood pressure check for the elderly and pregnant women, deworming for children, as well as multivitamins among others.

Part of the activities also included public health lectures by the naval medical team on topical issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, environmental, personal and oral hygiene.

The gesture was mentorship-oriented, intended to stir up ambition in younger ones from the benefitting communities.

Meanwhile, the Borno State government, again pleaded with the armed forces to consider recruiting members of the youth vigilante assisting in the insurgency war.

Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, made his request to top ranking officers of the Nigerian Navy.

He said that the Borno State government was worried about the fate of the teeming jobless youths when the insurgency war is brought to an operational end with their services no longer required.

Some of the youth vigilante volunteers also known as the Civilian Joint Task Force are also anxious about getting jobs to confront poverty.

President Buhari Meets Rescued Chibok Girl, Offers Scholarship

Amina_State_House
Amina Ali in State House, Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that the Federal Government will be responsible for the education and upkeep of Amina Ali, the Chibok girl who was rescued on Tuesday from the Boko Haram insurgents for the rest of her life.

The President made the announcement on Thursday after meeting with Amina, her mother and the Borno State Governor, Shettima Kassim, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that every girl has the right to education and should not be denied access to such.

Amina_Mum
Amina Ali and her mother at the Presidential Villa.

Full Reintegration
President Buhari assured that the Federal Government would do everything possible to ensure that the rest of Amina’s life takes a completely different course.

He also promised to give the rescued Chibok girl the best medical, psychological and emotional care, amongst other things, she requires to be fully reintegrated into the society.

The President decried a situation where Amina’s education was so abruptly truncated by Boko Haram, promising to make her education a priority of the Federal Government.

Amina is the first of the 219 Chibok girls to be rescued from the den of the Boko Haram terrorists.

Amina_Governors
A cross section of State Governors in the State House meeting between President Buhari and rescued Chibok girl, Amina Ali.

Some state governors were also at the meeting between the President and rescued mother of one.

Her rescue has been widely celebrated within the country and beyond and has raised renewed hopes about the other abducted girls.

19-year-old Amina was found by the civilian JTF with a four month old baby and a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claims to be her husband.

Secretary of the Association of Parents of the Abducted Chibok Girls, Zanna Usman, confirmed that Amina told her rescuers that six of her colleagues died in Boko Haram’s captivity.

The acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, says the alleged husband is undergoing further investigation at the Joint Intelligence Centre.

“Mohammed Hayatu is well treated in line with Operation Lafiya Dole Rules of Engagement regarding insurgents who voluntarily surrender to the military,” the Army spokesman added.

chibok-girl-Shettima-Borno
Amina Ali handed over to Borno State Governor, Mr Kashim Shettima.

After her rescue, Amina Ali, was handed over to Borno State Governor, Kashim Shetima, at Government house, Maiduguri, the state capital.

She was handed over on Wednesday evening by the Acting General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu in a brief ceremony.

Amina_Baby_medical
Amina’s son being examined by the military hospital personnel.

Prior to that they were examined at Air Force medical facility and were found to be stable and normal blood pressure was observed.

 

 

Forced By Hunger

Military sources in Damboa, who accompanied Amina to Maiduguri, told Channels Television that “Hayatu, one of the Boko Haram commanders also known as “Amir” reportedly escaped with his wife from the Sambisa forest and surrendered to Civilian Joint Task Force members in Balle, a village in Damboa.

The commander of the outlawed group stated hunger and ill health as reasons for his action as according to him his family would have starved to death following the blocking of supply routes by intensive military operations.

Rescued Chibok Girl, Others Arrives Borno State Government House

Recovered_GirlThe rescued Chibok girl, Amina Ali, has arrived the Borno State Government House in Maiduguri, the state capital.

She was rescued on Wednesday with a child and other women in Sambisa following military operations in conjunction with the Civilian JTF members.

She has since been reunited tearfully with her family in Balala village.

The Governor of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima, is expected to make a statement after meeting with the freed mother of one.

Boko_Husband
Suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be Amina Ali’s husband.

The Nigerian military in a statement said “troops of 25 Brigade Damboa in conjunction with Civilian JTF deployed in one of the blocking positions at Baale, near Damboa rescued one Miss Amina Ali and a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Mohammed Hayatu, who claimed to be her husband.

“Both were brought to Headquarters 25 Task Force Brigade Damboa at about 2.30pm today (Wednesday)”.